Do you trust the documentation?

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DocumentationA while back, one of our clients discovered a pipeline on a property he had purchased, so he called us out to talk about what we could do about it. The pipeline was potentially dangerous as well as inconvenient, so our client wanted to figure out a solution quickly.

Often in situations like this, we’ll help our clients with a survey to learn about easements and other issues with their land. We’ll do this survey pretty early, too—right after we’ve written the contract, and way before pouring the slab. So this case was no exception.

However, when we searched for information on this house, we found something that even Ben Turner, with 50+ years of experience, had never seen before. There wasn’t an easement or a right-of-way on file for a pipeline on this land!

What likely happened is that our client bought the land from someone else who divided the land without recording the easement or right-of-way. It can be resolved, but issues like this one are why we request title work, as a builder, well before the banks typically do.

Banks file the title work because they want to know it’s an actual piece of property they’re providing a loan for, and there’s nothing weird about it (like a pipe without an easement on the property). But we order the title work instead of waiting for the bank to order it. This way, we can help our clients resolve situations like this one as quickly as possible and get back on track to build their home.

Even the title company can make mistakes when recording all the documentation associated with that land, especially if it’s been divided. It’s important for you and your builder to look for physical manifestations of potential issues, instead of just trusting the documentation that’s available. That way, you’ll have a head start on addressing any issues you may find.

If you want to read more about how we’ve handled other, similar situations in the past, check out this blog article or this one.

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